White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams spoke Wednesday to a group of youths at Tarkington School of Excellence on the South Side. The topic just so happened to be “academic integrity.”
The discussion quickly turned to Jackie Robinson West.
“They’re absolutely champions,” Williams said. “Not just because of how they won on the field, but how they conducted themselves off the field, how they represented the City of Chicago, how they brought together black and white and Latin and Asian in one particular area to root for one singular cause. If somebody is now going to tell me that they’re going to take away from 13-year-olds who have given so much to the City, I have to ask for their hearts.”
Williams said he has been contacted by law firms who would like to represent Jackie Robinson West pro bono “if it comes to that.”
“First and foremost, let’s back up,” Williams said. “If you go through the journey of these young men, every roster had to be scrutinized and approved. So I don’t know how you get to that point and beyond that point. If there is an impropriety or an issue you have to back up to all those people who made the original decisions and find fault with them. Maybe they need to look inside their own house.
“I believe the adults should be held accountable all across the board, more so than the kids. That said, if you think I am going to find fault with men and women who served as the team mothers, or you think I’m going to find fault with people who are trying to empower kids and giving them some hope, taking time for these kids and in some cases serving as second fathers to them, then you are talking to the wrong person.”